Web Resources and Guidelines
Basic Stuff All Web Editors Need to Know
This page was written by Jeremy Speer of Marketing and Communications and he's solely responsible for the content.
Microsoft Word is not your friend
If I had a nickel for every person I've worked with who was in a terrible state due to using MS Word to create a web page, well, I'd have a pile of nickels.
If you've ever tried to create a web page but when you viewed it in a browser the text was bigger, smaller, bolder, lighter, in the wrong font, spaced out very strangely and generally weird, you've been a victim of Microsoft Word.
However, there is a fix: "Paste from Word" is available in the text editor and will remove all the "helpful" junk MS Word includes when you try to paste in your text.
Don't Fear the Code
This goes hand in hand with "View the source, Luke." Ok, that's a Star Wars reference for you non-geeks out there.
HTML is, for what we're working with, very simple. HTML is just a series of special tags that surround the regular text that you write. In almost all cases, there is an opening tag, and a closing tag. Visual editors, like the one built in to Publish, try to make editing HTML easier, but it's just too easy to fool a visual editor. Once that happens, like a good dog who is trying to understand what you want, things just get worse.
When that happens it's best to take a break, and when you return hit the Edit HTML Source button and try to see what's amiss in your code.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (that's why they take longer to download)
Everybody loves pictures. Pictures can provide more information than a whole block of text and they're much easier for people to "scan" when visiting your site.
But the downside is images must be properly prepared for web delivery. You must not use the height and width parameters of the image tag to scale a humongous image down to the size you want. This means you must have the required tools at your disposal, and that often means additional costs. But as of this writing, there are more and more online tools you can use for basic image prep that are actually kind of fun to use.
Everything on The Internet changes, but, as of this writing, one of the better online image editors out there is Picnik.com. I'll leave you to explore this and others as time permits.
Tips for using images
- Don't use images as a replacement for text, use them to enhance your text
- Always (this is important) provide a brief description of the image in the ALT tag field
- Images cannot be wider than 600 pixels (try for no more than 250-350 wide pixels in most cases)
- Resolution must be 72 dpi
- Color mode must be RGB. Print uses CMYK so if you got your image from some source other than a website, double check the mode before publishing your image.
- File size, also referred to as the payload, should not be more than 70k per image
- File format can be JPEG, PNG, or GIF. For photographs JPEG - JPG in the PC world - is best. For simpler, flat-color, graphics, like text on a solid background, PNG is best while GIF is a legacy format that is best avoided.